Spring Park Film Makers
The Movie Making Club in West Wickham
Visitors to Wapping today can still find some little historical gems that are not found anywhere else in the capital. The area still has some ancient stairs that give access to the Thames shore.
The best stairs to use are Wapping Old Stairs and Pelican Stairs by The Prospect of Whitby pub. This pub is a must-see. It is supposed to be the oldest pub in London that stands by the side of the Thames. There has been a pub on the site since the time of Henry VIII .
The London Dock had a monopoly on all tobacco, rice, wine and brandy coming into London, apart from that arriving from the East and West Indies. Its warehouses to the north and south were enormous. At the end of the 19th century, the Victorians added the Albert and Victoria Docks, further downstream. In the second half of the 20th century, as container ships grew more and more enormous and were unable to sail far up the Thames. The Dock was eventually closed in the late 60s, filled in almost immediately and then left to rot for a decade
Slowly, housing and light industry returned, but it wasn’t until Rupert Murdoch moved the printing and editorial operations of News International to Wapping in the early 1980s that anything like "business" returned to this part of London.
LONDON DOCKS LEGACY
Today, it is still possible to glimpse elements of the original London Docks, including the southern section of Western Dock retained as a small canal. Shadwell Basin was retained and today is a popular recreational area, while Eastern Dock was filled in and is now Wapping Wood.
Wapping Basin has been transformed into a sports ground, although the Wapping entrance can still be seen along Wapping High Street. Fortunately, some sections of the old Georgian and Victorian dock buildings have survived, including the Grade II listed Pennington Street Warehouse,as well as Tobacco Dock and sections of the exterior walls and entrances.
Spring Park would like to thank Graham Ralls for organising this very enjoyable visit to Wapping and lunch in the Prospect of Whitby and Gerald Pecksen, Keith Sayers and Richard Troughton for the photographs.